Partnership Working to Improve Access to Mental Health Services in Caswell County, North Carolina
It is well documented and understood that access to mental health services is a challenge for most communities across the United States. One blog post published on SocialSolutions.com lists what they’ve determined to be the top 5 barriers to care for those needing mental health treatment:
- Financial Barriers: Copays and deductibles for those fortunate enough to have insurance and out of pocket expenses for those without coverage often leave people feeling as if obtaining treatment is simply out of reach.
- Lack of Mental Health Professionals: There is a shortage of mental health professionals working in the field. This results in the ones that are there being overwhelmed with limited capacity to take on the treatment needs of the volume of people who are seeking their services.
- Mental Health Education and Awareness: It is easy to dismiss mental health symptoms as being ‘personality’ or ‘attitude’ related. It may at times be considered ‘worrying too much’ or even ‘laziness’. People assume these things are a normal part of life, when they may be suffering from disordered thinking or clinical symptoms.
- The Social Stigma of Mental Health Conditions: Sometimes, people forgo seeking treatment because they are concerned about negative thoughts others may have towards them. People fear that family and friends may avoid them, or that the potential disclosure of a mental health condition can lead to negative treatment and perceptions at work.
- Racial Barriers to Mental Healthcare Access: Researchers with Kaiser Health analyzed National Survey on Drug Use and Health data from 2005 through 2014 and found that white people were more likely to get help with ‘severe physiological distress’ than any other race.
These barriers affect residents of Caswell County, as well. Caswell Family Medical Center, Caswell Senior Services and Caswell County Health Department are partnering to turn this around.
“In my job, I have the opportunity to interact with people in ways that may not be obvious to those that don’t understand what all the Senior Center does. We have people that have lived in Caswell their entire lives who are struggling with issues related to getting older and have had nowhere to go when they reached the point of knowing they needed help for depression and anxiety.” – Jeannine Everidge, Director, Caswell Senior Services.
“At the Health Department, we understand the connection between mental health and physical health. Sometimes a pill alone can’t fix what’s wrong.” – Jennifer Eastwood, Director, Caswell County Health Department.
Thanks to funding received from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Caswell Family Medical Center has been able to provide staffing to embed a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in both the Senior Center and the Health Department.
“An LCSW is a healthcare professional that is trained to help with issues involving mental and emotional health. They don’t write prescriptions; however, they can diagnose and provide evidence-based treatment through individual and group therapy.” – William Crumpton, CEO, Caswell Family Medical Center.
Services are available at the Senior Center and Health Department by appointment. All insurances are accepted and sliding fee scales are available based on income.
To learn more, see our “Locations” menu and choose a site that you’re interested in receiving services from, or contact either the Health Department (336-694-4129) or the Senior Center (336-694-7447).